Laid-back holidays to France
Provence, Bordeaux, Burgundy – just hearing those names conjures up images of sun-drenched vineyards and crisp white tablecloths set for dinner. They’re pretty accurate images, too. From flaky morning croissants to the after-dinner cheese plate, holidays to France invariably revolve around the delicious food and wine.
But don’t miss out on the rest of France’s charms. Meander through the streets of Bordeaux, pausing at world-class museums and chic galleries. Follow the canals that lace the old quarter of Strasbourg, lined with wonky, half-timbered houses. Or perhaps soak up the sun on the beaches of Corsica or the French Riviera, people-watching or dipping toes into the Med.
Luxuriating in the balmy climes of Southern France, the region of Provence and the Côte d'Azur offers a real variety of landscapes. There is eye candy a-plenty here, from hazy fields of lavender to clifftop roads and the sparkling French Riviera. Along the Mediterranean Coast are glam, sun-drenched towns, whilst inland you can explore the beautiful city of Aix-en-Provence, home of Paul Cézanne.
This lovely northeast region of France stretches along the border with Germany and Switzerland and has changed hands several times over the years. It encompasses the Rhine River valley and the charming waterside town of Strasbourg with its Gothic Notre-Dame cathedral.
Although this Mediterranean island has been part of France for several hundred years, it has a distinctly Italian feel to it. Visit Corsica and you'll find pristine beaches, stunning national parks and stylish coastal cities.
You'll find the climate in northern France is similar to that of the UK. As you travel south, sunshine increases and the temperature rises until you reach Provence with its long, hot summers and cooler but bright winters.
The official language is French, but English is widely understood in most tourist areas.
French cuisine is world-renowned, and in 2010 was added to UNESCO's list of the world's intangible cultural heritage. Food and wine play an important part in French culture, and you can't visit without getting a taste for the region – whether it's biting into a crumbly croissant or a sitting down to a hearty bouillabaisse. Dishes and specialities are diverse, and influenced by the ingredients available in each region.
France is one hour ahead of GMT.
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